If you didn’t already hear the news, The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC) is now requiring patients to obtain a patient ID card through the State in order to be served at Maryland dispensaries. Oh, and by the way, you must pay the State $50.00 for the card. Here are some highlights of the new law.
Beginning January 1,2019: All new patients must purchase MMCC ID cards at registration.
This means that any new patient must pay the $50.00 at the time of registration directly to the state in order to obtain the card. This means registration is no longer free, as you must pay the money at the time of registration. Many patients are already struggling with the cost of certification and medicine. The fact that the State is now requiring an additional $50.00 to be part of the program is off putting to many patients and seems like another way to collect revenue with no additional value to the patient.
Beginning April 1, 2019: MMCC ID cards required at time of purchase for ALL patients.
For a year now, patients have been using their written certificate and photo ID to gain access to dispensaries and purchase product. In fact, after your first visit to a particular dispensary when you present your written certificate, you only present your ID on subsequent visits. To my knowledge the system has worked great and only certified patients have been granted access to purchase medicine in Maryland dispensaries. There is no reason for the State to require patients to present an ID card in order to purchase in dispensaries. It doesn’t make the process easier or more secure. All it really does is line the States pockets with $50.00 from every legal cannabis patient.
Expiration date extended to 3 years for MMCC ID cards issues after January 1, 2019.
Here is the program summary as written by the MMCC:
- Effective January 1, 2019 all new patients must pay $50 for an MMCC ID card at registration, which will expire 3 years from the date of issue;
- Effective March 1, 2019, all existing patients may (1) renew their application and purchase a patient MMCC ID card for $50, which will expire 3 years from the issue date or (2) order an MMCC ID card for a $50 fee, which will expire on the patient’s existing registration expiration date;
- Effective April 1, 2019 all licensed Maryland dispensaries may only distribute or sell medical cannabis to patients who present a valid MMCC ID;
- MMCC ID cards issued prior to January 1, 2019 will expire on the expiration date listed on the card. After MMCC ID card is renewed, a 3 year card will go into effect; and
Upon ordering an MMCC ID card or renewing their application, a patient will have the option to print a temporary ID card, which will be valid for a period of 90 days.
I think it’s ironic that the state will allow you to print and use a temporary ID card for 90 days, while you wait for them to make and send you your card. How is this any different than using the current written certification? The State has provided no logic why requiring the card is any better for the program or the patient. All it really does is drive revenue to the state while costing patients an additional $50.00.
Frequently asked questions and answers regarding this change:
What does this mean for new patients?
As of January 1, 2019, all patients who register will be required to pay a non-refundable $50 card fee when they submit their application. MMCC ID cards will automatically be mailed to the patient once they receive their certification from their provider. Beginning January 1, 2019, new patient registrations will expire 3 years from the registration date.
Exception: Minor patients, and hospice patients who provide acceptable proof of hospice care, are required to have MMCC ID cards, but the $50 fee may be waived.
What does this mean for existing patients who have an ID card?
Patients with an MMCC ID card can continue to use the MMCC ID card until it expires. The expiration date is located on the front of the MMCC ID card. Beginning April 1, 2019, an MMCC ID card will be required for purchase at all licensed Maryland dispensaries.
What does this mean for existing patients who don’t have an MMCC ID card?
If you are a registered patient and you don’t have an ID card, you have two options:
- Submit a renewal application to MMCC for a $50 fee. The renewal registration will expire 3 years from the date of renewal. Beginning March 1, 2019, any patient may submit a renewal application; or
- Order an MMCC ID card for a $50 fee. This card will expire on the date your current registration expires.
How do I renew and what does it mean?
To renew your registration, log into your existing MMCC account and click on the Renew Registration tab. You will be prompted to answer a number of questions. If your address has changed, you must update your address and you will be required to upload a current Proof of Maryland Address. Once the Commission has your renewal application, they will review it and notify you via email of approval.
How do I order an ID card without renewing?
To order an ID card, log into your MMCC account and click on the “Order ID Card” tab. Your MMCC ID card will expire on the date of your current registration.
How long until I receive my MMCC ID card?
Due to the anticipated high volume of MMCC ID card orders and registration renewals, the MMCC is unable to guarantee a delivery date for the card. However, a temporary ID will be emailed once a new patient has been certified, or an existing patient with a valid provider certification orders a card or renews their registration. This temporary ID will be valid for a period of 90 days. Each patient will have the option to print the temporary card when logging into your MMCC account.